According to Skarn Associates, a leader in quantifying and benchmarking greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the mining sector, BC has some of the lowest GHG-emitting mines and smelters on the planet, thanks to our early adoption and ongoing use of clean hydroelectricity at our operations.
MABC's regularly encourages governments to make decisions related to mining that support achieving the goals and targets of the Paris Agreement. This includes recognizing the importance of a price on carbon as an incentive to encourage businesses and individuals to implement low-carbon technologies and reduce their emissions.
BC’s mines pay the highest carbon tax in the world
Despite our low-emission operations, BC’s mines and smelters pay the highest functional carbon tax of any major mining jurisdiction in the world.
Although Canadian jurisdictions generally have a similar ‘sticker price’ for carbon tax, every province other than British Columbia provides significant protection for their trade-exposed sectors – including mining. BC is also the only mining jurisdiction in the world that does not provide meaningful carbon pricing supports to industries that sell into global markets. This puts BC mines, communities, and people whose jobs depend on mines and smelters at a competitive disadvantage that limits our economic opportunities and ability to play a bigger role in achieving our shared climate objectives.
BC’s carbon pricing must be adjusted to allow trade exposed sectors to compete fairly with jurisdictions that don’t pay a carbon tax or don’t pay enough. Failing to do so will likely result in ‘carbon leakage’; a situation where investment and industrial activity ‘leaks’ from BC to other jurisdictions with lower carbon pricing – and potentially lower environmental standards and labour protections. This leads to higher global emissions, fewer jobs for British Columbians and less revenue for government.
The federal government has announced the carbon tax will more than triple from the current $50/tonne to $170/tonne by 2030, which the BC provincial government has committed to match. Without protections from these increases, the competitive position of BC mines will deteriorate further, along with the working capital needed to invest in ongoing decarbonization.